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What's on in South Bank: May 2018

As always in South Bank, there's a great variety of events this month to keep us all occupied, whatever our interests. The fact that there's two bank holidays thrown into the mix is quite the bonus too.

World Island music festival arrives on Water Lane and Globe Road on the Spring Bank Holiday from the 25th to the 27th. Mercury Award-winning Sampha headlines on the Friday, whilst psychedelic rock band Unknown Mortal Orchestra headline the Sunday along with neo-soul and Mercury Award-nominated Jungle. Loyle Carner headlines the Saturday in between and local legend Nightmares on Wax also features with a live set. Critically acclaimed modern jazz group BADBADNOTGOOD will be making the trip from Toronto, while afro-funk band Ibibo Sound Machine and Saxophonist Nubya Garcia are some of the other highlights on the eclectic lineup.

World Island

The Tetley has an even larger than normal month of events coming up. The Tetley Weekender is their annual micro-festival that features activities for all the family as well as artist-led performance, events, talks, and great food and drink. Entrance is free all weekend, 11am-5pm.

The usual Family Art Workshops and No Stress Yoga are a perfect Saturday morning offer, whilst on the evening of the 3rd a new exhibition, Material Environments, is launching. The exhibition promises to evolve and grow over the course of its stay, with live production, experimenting, making and public participation contributing to this evolution.

As part of Words in the City, a city-wide literature festival, LGBT* poets will be presenting work on the 12th of May. The event is free and starts at 2:30pm, with discussion on themes of gender and mental well-being to be had at its conclusion.

Tetley Daytime

Down at Leeds Dock, Royal Armouries have two weekends of themed activity coming up this month. Firstly, Robin Hood takes centre stage from the 5th to the 7th with a mix of storytelling, crafts, film screenings, combat demonstrations, and have-a-go-yourself archery.

Sword and Buckler is the theme for the following weekend. Workshops, lectures and activities will be taking place relating to the application of swords in the medieval period. Qualified instructors from around Europe will be in attendance, both lecturing and giving demonstrations.


Duke Studios continue to diversify and increase their events offer on Sheaf Street. Dutch DJ Orpheu the Wizard headlines their Yarden Party on the 6th, and his selection will be as wide-ranging as usual we're sure. Tickets are £5 advance and capacity is limited to 250 to ensure space to move freely. Not one to miss on this bank holiday weekend - fingers crossed to see the sun shining.

The 17th sees a workshop on food styling and photography. If you're a keen food blogger or Instagrammer this is the workshop for you. Indeed, if you're simply a food lover, it won't go amiss either as a 3 course feast will be served at the end with drinks to boot.

Last and by absolutely no means least, the inaugural Duke Studios Mario Kart tournament arrives on the 25th. Featuring 3 huge screens, 18 controllers and great prizes, this is the perfect evening for a group of friends, however seriously you take your gaming.


Northern Craft returns once again to Northern Monk Brew Co in South Bank on the 12th. Some of the finest crafts from the region will be in attendance and available to purchase, in addition to workshops and of course, sublime craft beer and equally as amazing food from Northern Monk themselves and their pop up kitchen.


Cheryl Martin brings theatre in the form of jazz fantasy to Slunglow's Holbeck Underground Ballroom on the 13th. Themes of love, loss and hope will feature in this play about one woman's life-long love of music and the stars, all channelled through the music of Billie Holiday. This acclaimed piece of theatre is pay what you decide, as all Slunglow features are.

Finally, How to... Cabaret! on the 20th will provide a day full of music, artistry and family fun. Workshops, food and performances will feature over the course of 9 hours including a cooking class from Manjit's Kitchen, a drag king showcase, and finishing with a cabaret performance of true decadence.

Have a great month, whatever you get up to.

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